The Supreme Court on Thursday issued contempt notices to Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh for their failure to implement its order for fixation of uniform pension for major general-rank officers retiring from service before and after January 1, 1996.
The court issued the notices on a contempt petition filed by 19 retired army officers who have accused the government of not implementing its September 2008 order for parity in pensions. The petitioners have pointed out that the disparity occurred due to faulty implementation of the fifth pay panel report by the Defence Ministry.
Representing the petitioners, senior advocate Nidesh Gupta drew the court’s attention to the situation where brigadiers retiring after 1996 are getting more pension than major generals retiring before 1996.
Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had allowed the officers’ plea in June 2005, but the Defence Ministry had challenged it in Supreme Court, which in turn had dismissed the Centre’s appeal and upheld the HC order in September last year. The SC had asked the Centre to remove the anomaly and fix the pensions within three months and also pay their arrears. But instead, the Centre filed a review petition that is still pending. Contending that mere filing of a review petition did not absolve the Centre of its duty to implement the SC order, the officers moved a contempt petition.